Sunday, 17 December 2017 03:17

Waterton-region is still staying safe after the fire earlier this year

Written by  Courtesy Parks Canada
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Visitor safety is a top priority for Parks Canada and as the country's largest tourism provider, we are committed to providing visitors with meaningful, safe and enjoyable experiences at our places.


Visitor safety and fire management experts continue to assess infrastructure, frontcountry and backcountry areas (including trails) impacted by wildfire activity in Waterton Lakes National Park. Ongoing closures include:
• Red Rock Parkway from the Bellevue Trailhead to Red Rock Canyon Day Use Area, until further notice;
• Akamina Parkway, until further notice;
• Crandell Mountain Campground, through the 2018 operating season;
• All on- and off-trail travel in the western portion of Waterton Lakes National Park as shown on the attached map is restricted due to hazards caused by wildfire activity.
The high intensity of the fire resulted in a large number of danger trees, rock falls, and other hazards that continue to pose a safety risk throughout the park. Parks Canada is working to assess and mitigate these risks. We are also assessing affected infrastructure and planning how to prioritize rebuilding assets like signs, guardrails and campsites.
Parks Canada is also looking at the long-term effects this fire will have on the park’s ecology and environmental programs. We’re assessing impacts of the fire on slope stability, vegetation, aquatic environments and wildlife.
Visitors who choose to come to the park must obey area closures and remain vigilant of potential hazards. Important safety information is outlined below.
Wildlife:Animals that are injured, hungry or displaced may have unpredictable behaviour, including entering the townsite in search of food. 
For your safety and the safety of the animals, never approach, feed or entice wildlife. Dispose of garbage only in the bear-proof bins located throughout the townsite in order to avoid attracting wildlife.
Report all wildlife sightings within the townsite by calling 1-888-WARDENS (1-888-927-3367).
Roads: Only the Entrance Road, townsite roads and Highways 5 and 6 are open to motorized use in the park. All other roads are closed to the public until hazards are addressed.
Some road signs and guardrails were destroyed by fire, and debris periodically rolls onto the road.
In addition, wildlife and fire crews may be on or near the road.
Use caution and proceed slowly when driving through the park.
Trees, rocks and debris: Many trees in closed areas are unstable due to burned roots or saturated soil from fire-fighting activities, while others may be dangerous due to broken tops. There may be ash pits around tree bases and even hotspots that still need to be extinguished. Vegetation that kept slopes stable has burned, resulting in rocks and logs rolling down slopes onto roads. Respect closures to stay safe.
Water quality: Water in the townsite is safe for consumption.
Services: Please call ahead to ensure the business you wish to visit is open. For information on businesses in Waterton Lakes National Parks, visit the Waterton Lakes Chamber of Commerce website here: https://mywaterton.ca/

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